Dewani statement given freely: State

By Drum Digital
25 September 2012

There is no doubt that the man on trial for Anni Dewani's murder voluntarily gave a statement to police and pointed out the crime scene, the Western Cape High Court heard on Tuesday.

Deputy director of public prosecutions Adrian Mopp said they had proved beyond reasonable doubt that Xolile Mngeni, 25, was not forced or assaulted into his "confession" on November 16, 2010, or the pointing out the following day.

"There is simply no evidence to support the accused's allegations of assault, torture and undue influence, or that he was told what to tell and show the statement taker," he said.

Judge Robert Henney should also dismiss the allegation that Mngeni was not given the chance to exercise his constitutional rights to a legal representative the day he gave the statement.

"The accused was unequivocal that he wanted to proceed and that he would 'take a lawyer at court'."

The court was hearing closing arguments to decide whether it should admit the statement and pointing out as evidence.

Mngeni has pleaded not guilty to hijacking, robbing and killing Dewani in Gugulethu on November 13, 2010. She was on honeymoon with her husband Shrien at the time.

The State said Henney would have to rely on the testimony of nine police officers who took the stand, because Mngeni had elected not to testify in his defence.

The court could not make any inferences into his thoughts or intentions, Mopp said.

The trial continues.

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